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Modifications to Landscape Regulations in Order to Qualify for Rebates

Zoning Text Amendments

Modifications to Landscape Regulations in Order to Qualify for Rebates

Petition Number: PLNPCM2022-01050

Zoning District: Citywide

Council District: Citywide

The State of Utah and the Central Water Conservancy District offer rebates to property owners who remove sod and replace landscaping with more appropriate vegetation for our climate with the goal of conserving water. Both rebate programs are being modified and those modifications require cities to update landscaping regulations for property owners to qualify for the rebate programs.  According to the Central Utah Water Conservation District, property owners in Salt Lake City are the largest recipients of their grant program.  The following changes must be made to the Salt Lake City Zoning Ordinance so that property owners within the city are eligible for the grants.  It is important to note that the changes are only required at time of new development or for non-residential uses when a landscape plan is required to modify the landscaping.  No property owners are required to make any changes to their current landscaping if this were to be adopted.

  • Prohibit sod on slopes steeper than 25%.  The city code discourages sod on steep slopes, but to be eligible for grants the code must prohibit sod on slopes over 25%. A 25% slope is a slope that is more than one vertical foot for every four horizontal feet.
  • Limit the area of sod.  The rebate programs require cities to limit the amount of sod to no more than 35% of the yard area for single and two-family residential uses and no more than 20% for other types of uses.  Active recreation areas, like sports fields, parks, golf courses, and other recreation areas are exempt. 
  • Require a “watersense”  smart controller.  Any changes to a sprinkler system would require the use of a water sense smart controller.  This type of smart controller is capable of applying rain delays and adjust to weather conditions. 
  • Prohibition on aerial spray sprinklers and sod in landscaped areas that are under eight feet in any dimension.  This modification will limit sod in small landscaped areas.  A small landscaped area is any area with any minimum dimension less than eight feet.  This is intended to reduce overspray. 

Additional Information

Next Steps

  • Notice of this application has been sent to all Recognized Organizations in the city for input.  The official 45-day engagement period ends on December 13, 2022.  Please contact the chair(s) of these organizations to determine whether a community council will review this petition and when and how that meeting will occur. The contact information for these groups can be found here http://www.slcdocs.com/recorder/RCOMasterList.pdf  
  • During and following this comment period, the Planning Division will evaluate the proposal against the applicable standards, taking into consideration public comments as they relate to the standards, and develop a recommendation for the Planning Commission.
  • The Planning Commission will then hold a public hearing for additional public comments and make a recommendation to the City Council.  The City Council will make the final decision.

What is the role of the Planning Staff in this Process

Planning Staff processes the application, communicates with the applicant to understand the project, and seeks input from the community.

Public Comments and Questions

We want to hear from you! To submit a comment or question please contact the staff planner via email or leave a voicemail, your questions will be answered within a week after the comment period has ended.

  • Start of Comment Period: October 28, 2022
  • End of Comment Period: December 13, 2022

During and following this comment period, the Planning Division will evaluate the proposal against the applicable zoning standards, taking into consideration public comments as they relate to the standards, and develop a recommendation for the Planning Commission.

Nick Norris, Planning Director // nick.norris@slcgov.com

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